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It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.... Yes that time of the year is fast approaching and stores are already starting to stock Christmas products and promote the dreaded ‘C’ word!

Last month in America Kmart began a 100 days till Christmas layby promotion.  While the promotion attracted a huge number of complaints, it was a sensible message from the big box retailer – choose your gifts now, layby and spread the financial stress of the festive season.

So how early is too early to start your Christmas promotion? Last year Target began their Christmas promotion in early October and like Kmart received a huge number of complaints.  What is interesting is that almost 40% of shoppers have begun their Christmas shopping by Labour Weekend so why are people complaining? Traditionally retailers in New Zealand begin to promote Christmas from Labour weekend, but does that mean that those waiting to launch promotions are missing out on sales?

Personally I love Christmas so bring out the tinsel and the fat jolly red suited gentleman when you like, but if your promotional offer is focused on giftware, Christmas food and wine or that perfect outfit for the endless rounds of Christmas functions, when can you successfully launch your promotion to maximise sales without incurring the wrath of your customers?

Christmas is traditionally the most important sales period of the year for retailers, the festive trading period can constitute up to 40% of a retailer's annual trade.  It is not only important from a financial perspective but it is also the most crucial time to develop new relationships with customers. 

To maximise this opportunity retailers need to use creativity in their Christmas Promotional Strategy to build a point of difference to competitors.

So are you ready to take full advantage of Christmas Trading?

  • Robust Christmas Promotional Calendar which creates increased average sales value and repeat custom
  • Online Store to take advantage of hours your physical store isn’t open but customers are wanting to shop
  • Mobile and tablet shopping to drive traffic and sales
  • Pop-Up store presence for online businesses to maximise sales opportunities and increase brand penetration
  • Delivery options – convenience is paramount over the festive period and will lead to increased sales
  • Fully trained sales team confident in upselling, add-on sales and focused on delivering outstanding customer service
  • Operational processes optimised to ensure costs do not increase out of line with sales growth

Sara and I have been working with a number of clients in different sectors to ensure their Christmas Promotions are Smart, Simple and Deliver Results. The key to a successful strategy, convenience. If you are not prepared for the Christmas rush contact us to have a chat about what will work for you, all businesses are different and you need something that works for your customers and your store.

Finally, I had to share this gorgeous advert from John Lewis’ 2012 Christmas promotion, hope you enjoy it and it gets you thinking about the importance of planning and executing a successful Bricks and Clicks Christmas Strategy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N8axp9nHNU

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